Monday, May 23, 2011

Jemez 50 2011

After poor health for all of April and a stinging DNF at Collegiate Peaks, all I wanted out of Jemez was a good time and a finish. I got both.
But during the race, I wanted another thing - to finish before it got dark. I got that with some time to spare also.
It was an ugly finish, though. I finished faster than when I walked it in 2009, but not impressively faster. I'm just in lousy shape. Very lousy. There's just no way to cheat your way to the finishline. If you're in bad shape, it will show up out there.

Since I knew I'd be slow, I decided to take my running pack. I would use a hydration bladder and a 20oz bottle. Then 10min before start, I noticed my pack was dripping. I had checked my bladder for leaks, but not with the hose clipped in. So I rushed to my car and replaced the bladder with two 16oz bottles. Wow, two 16oz and one 20oz seemed a bit much, but a 16 & 20 wasn't going to be enough for my slow butt to go 7.8M between Valle Grande and Pajarito Canyon.

Things went well. The weather was beautiful! BEAUTIFUL!! I've never ran a race where the weather was better.

Then at Pipeline aid station, I accidentally left my 20oz bottle. I had been carrying one empty 16oz bottle and the other 1/3 full. So I slid and crashed my way down the cliff into the caldera and when I got to the bottom I realized my mistake. There was no way I was going back up that cliff! I had 7oz in one bottle, so I ran to Valle Grande much faster than planned. Then I topped-off both 16oz bottles and headed to Pajarito.

It was definitely a wonderful day. In spite of this stupid bottle problem, everything else made it a perfect day NOT to be sitting on my ass!

As expected, I got to Pajarito Canyon aid station dehydrated. I drank extra while standing around, then refilled and took off. I was really dragging ass, but better to recover moving down the trail than sitting at an aid station. So lots of people passed me. At the next aid station, one of the people who passed me sat down like he wasn't going to be able to walk another step. I don't know his name and I hope he managed to get his legs back.
As I started the last big climb over 10,000 feet, I started to feel almost human, but the climb kept me from feeling good. Again, I got passed and then passed them as they lost their legs.
Finally, the Big Drop - the double black diamond ski slope. I was surprised as slow and tired as I was on the up, my legs felt fine on the down.
Back at Pipeline, Grabbed my 20oz bottle again and headed up the last climb. The last 11 miles are monotonous. I just shuffled along. It wasn't a walk and it wasn't a run. It was that in-between thing. Walking hurts my feet too much. Running took too much energy.

This is the first time I took my new pulse-oximeter. I watched my blood-oxygen rate fall and climb. I was never in trouble. My pulse was sometimes high, and during the Caballo Mountain climb it dipped as low as 81%, but I found I did best if I kept it between 85-89%. Any less was dangerous to my asthma and anymore was being a pussy.

A finish is a finish. After the last couple months, I'll take it.
Stress from work, and not enough time off, has whittled me down. I needed a break. I got exactly what I needed. But even as slow as my finish was, it was over too quick. i love Jemez 50M. Slow or fast, I'll just keep coming back.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats! Sounds like you had a good time. And 50M is always something. You might think you are not in good shape but finishing this race (even if you think you were slow) proves you are quite fit. Pat yourself on the back from me.


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